Being a westerner in my entire life, I have only visited the Snow City at Jurong East once. Pocoloco, located at Level 2 of Snow City, gave me the reason to visit this place again. Already has a branch at Ang Mo Kio, what's different about this branch is that it comes along with a microbrewery! Yes, right in our heartland Jurong.
Pocoloco is conceptualised as a casual and affordable Italian restaurant. Do not associate it with any of your pasta/pizza joints. What they serve to your table are genuine recipes crafted from chefs' culinary experiences in the Italian dining scene. They do not do course by course service but instead sharing. Hence, in no time, our table was filled with all the food that we had ordered, from appetisers, to pasta to mains, except our dessert. Such no frill local way of service also helps to lower the cost, which enable them to charge just heartland prices.
Our evening had a good start with their well sautéed Mushroom ($6) and Baked Scallops ($12). The sliced mushroom is way better than any fries if you would like something to go along with beer. Just hints of herbs and garlic, its meaty texture and inherent savouriness make it even more delectable. Shielded under a robust layer of capsicum puree with flavoured butter, the baked scallops were flavoursome, juicy with a firm bite.
Burrata is a quintessential dish in Italian restaurant. I'm surprise to see it on their menu. At $16, by far perhaps the most affordable which I have seen. Served with rocket salad, tomato & parma ham, albeit a classic combination, their homemade dressing makes the difference. Tangy and refreshing, it hits the right note. Although the cheese was not as fluffy and pillowy as I would like it to be, the dressing makes up for it.
Since it is a microbrewery, you must try their locally brewed beers. They have a nice alfresco area for you to chill with your favourite pick. An interesting choice would be their Verde, which is brewed using seaweed barley malt. ($7 a glass)
Zuppa di Pesce 3/5
We were expecting more from their Tomato Seafood Soup ($6) after 3 good appetisers. No doubt the seafood was fresh but it lacks that bit of tang which might help to lift the flavour.
Their Caesar ($7) was ok but what's notable is their homemade Caesar dressing freshly made with anchovies. It is not at all creamy and oily like the commercial type.
The menu offers quite a selection of pasta, priced between $9 to $12, as well as risotto that cost a couple of dollars more. Mains are dishes of chicken and beef, together with a Catch of the Day, priced between $15 to $20. We decided to try their Chef Specials, enticed by their handmade tagliatelle and the fact that I'm not so into chicken or beef towards the end of the day.
Lobster with Handmade Tagliatelle Black & Green Pasta 3/5
The so called pasta special of the restaurant is the Lobster served with Handmade Tagliatelle Black & Green Pasta ($22). Instead of flavouring their pasta with spinach, their was done with Nori. The pasta was slightly thicker than usual but was light and al dente, which impressed me. However, I couldn't really detect the seaweed taste. The lobster might be a little overcooked as I was struggling to remove the meat from its shell which is a tad disappointing. Perhaps best to stick to their regular menu which cost me only half the price but better in taste. I was told their crabmeat pasta is really popular.
Roasted Canadian Pork Rack 2.8/5
For mains, we had Roasted Canadian Pork Rack ($20) coated in mustard and green herbs. I really like the mustardy coat which flavours the pork really well, especially at the charred edges. It tasted like a classic pesto but with tanginess. The best part is the meat by the rib. I felt that the rest of the meat too tough and dry, and a bit gamy.
For sweet ending, we had Tiramisu and Chocolate Lava Cake. Between the two, I would recommend their tiramisu. It is not easy to find a good tiramisu and Pocoloco does it pretty well. The cheese layer may still be a bit thick for me but I appreciated its sweetness. The liqueur seems to be added in situ, hence I could really taste the bitter sweetness. What seems to be missing is the shot of espresso.
For such pricings, usually it means dining with a huge crowd, with people sitting so close to you that you don't get to have good, private conversations with your loved ones. However, over at Pocoloco, you have almost all - the ambience, friendly service, decent food and fresh beers.
Written and photography by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
21 Jurong Town Hall Road
Nearest MRT: Jurong East (EW Line, NS Line), Chinese Garden (EW Line)
Daily: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm
1) Alight at Jurong East MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Jurong East Bus Interchange (Stop ID 28009). Take bus number 66 or 335. Alight 4 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]
1) Alight at Chinese Garden MRT station. Take Exit A or C. Cross the road and walk to bus stop opposite Chinese Garden MRT station (Stop ID 28349). Take bus number 335. Alight 2 stops later. Cross the road and walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]